ST PETER — Despite a persistently sluggish economy, Gustavus Adolphus College managed to raise more money last fiscal year than any other year in the college’s history.
Tom Young, vice president for institutional advancement, said for the fiscal year that ended May 31, 2012, the college raised $11 million in charitable contributions. That’s up from $8.1 million the previous year.
Young credits a slowly strengthening economy, as well as Campaign Gustavus, which also reached a milestone recently: $100 million raised toward its goal of $150 million by fall of 2015.
“It’s a tremendous tribute to the community and to leadership of the board,” he said. “And we’ve got a really strong group of volunteers.”
Campaign Gustavus was publicly announced last year, but efforts began a couple of years ago, Young said. The campaign’s goal is to fund initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150, a multi-tiered plan to enhance the college, as well as students’ experience.
The campaign, the largest in the college’s history, is based on three pillars: opportunity, teaching and learning, and community.
Opportunity initiatives go to recruiting the “best students to Gustavus,” through funding scholarships, international outreach and promoting diversity. Teaching and learning is the largest category and includes upgrading and building facilities and endowing professorships. The community pillar includes such things as the Nobel Conference, Christmas in Christ Chapel and support for Linneaus Arborteum, among many other things.
Young said initiatives of Commission Gustavus 150 are being funded and implemented as the campaign progresses, so it’s not as if $100 million is just sitting there. Also, he said, about half is being raised in cash and pledges, and half counting toward the $100 million is deferred commitments, which could come at the end of a donor’s life.
Young said the most visible sign of the campaign thus far is Beck Hall, which opened fall of 2011. The $30 million, 125,000-square-foot academic building is named for Campaign Gustavus co-chairs and significant donors Warren and Donna Beck of Greenwood.